CASA seeks support for fundraiser

POLK COUNTY — CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Polk County will hold its first casino night fundraiser in October and seeks donations to make it a successful event for its young clients.


CASA - Court-Appointed Special Advocates

All proceeds will go toward the organization’s mission of advocating for children in the foster care system, said Executive Director Katey Axtell.

“It will go right into the kids,” she said. “Staff is all hired by grants, so it will go to the recruitment, training and recognition of our volunteers to advocate for the children.”

Bonnie Dreier, the event consultant for CASA, said the organization has lined up Team Casino of Springfield to host gaming tables and Wild Pear to cater appetizers, beer and wine. Keynote speaker is Marilyn Jones, the Oregon Child Welfare Programs director, and Axtell hopes to book former CASA children to speak about their experiences with the program.

What is needed are sponsorships and donations for raffle prizes, Axtell said.

Team Casino will bring in craps, blackjack, Texas Hold ’em and roulette tables. Players may purchase “funny money” to play. Winners receive raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes.

“We are still looking for sponsors,” Dreier said. “If a business would like to donate to the raffle prizes, we would love that.”

She said so far, the fundraiser has netted prizes and auction items such as oil changes, a spa and guided fishing trips.

Admission to the event, scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Nesmith Readiness Center, is $45 and includes two drink tickets, a door prize, and a raffle ticket. “Funny money” packages for games will be sold at the door.

Dreier said the theme for the evening is Casablanca, so think 1940s attire and glamour. Those who don’t like to dress up shouldn’t be dissuaded from attending, Dreier said.

“Come out and give love to these kids,” she said.

If casino games are not your thing, Axtell said there are other programs people can contribute to, starting with becoming a CASA volunteer. A new training 10-week class kicks off on Friday at the Academy Building.

CASA and the Department of Human Services are collecting 500 backpacks to give to foster children. Axtell said when children are moved from houses, they often don’t have anything to put their belongings in.

“We found out when they move from home-to-home, some of them use garbage bags, so we give them a backpack or duffel bag,” Axtell said.

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